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Saints' Nick Fairley ruled out for 2017 with heart issue

27 June 2017

The New Orleans Saints announced Monday they placed defensive tackle Nick Fairley on the reserve/non-football illness list, which ended his 2017 season.

Fairley was diagnosed with an enlarged heart before he joined the National Football League as a first-round draft pick in 2011 - which Payton said is not all that uncommon.

Fairley's play helped him earn a four-year, $28 million extension in March.

Fox Sports' Jennifer Hale reported earlier in the month Fairley had missed organized team activities after medical tests revealed he had a heart problem. Rankins accounted for 20 total tackles and 4.0 sacks last season, numbers that lead the Saints' available defensive linemen.

However, Payton explained that Fairley's condition had apparently worsened or become more concerning this year.

Fairley sometimes struggled to meet expectations during his first five pro seasons.

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Saints coach Sean Payton has said at least one specialist recommended that Fairley give up football.

Fairley has played for three different teams since being drafted 13th overall in 2011.

With Fairley out, the Saints will lean on Sheldon Rankins, David Onyemata and Tyeler Davison as their top interior defenders.

Under NFI rules, the Saints are not required to pay Fairley his $1 million base salary this year since his injury was not related to football. Fairley recorded career-highs in tackles (43) and sacks (6.5) in 2016 and was expected to play a vital role in New Orleans' front seven.

The post Injury Update: Saints' Nick Fairley Out for Season appeared first on Cover32.